tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 9, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
on the broadcast here tonight. what was it shting across the sky last night off the california coast? was it a missile or a plane? tonight it's still just a mystery. stranded at sea, thousands of people stuck on board a massive cruise ship in a drama right out of a bad mie. visit interrupted. president obama returns to his boyhood home but an eruptingng volcano means there's been a change of plans. and back to basics. our sees of reports about keeping it simple. the women that carve through the clutter. "the nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. we're going to begin tonight with two separate dramas, both of them taking place ithe waters off the west coast of the united states. first, the light in the skies last night. the trail all the way up to the sky and the reports from eyewitnesses who said they saw a missile fired off the coast of california. it's been a day-long mystery from the pacific all the way east tthe pentagon and the question is -- are people telling the truth about what it was? then there's the carnival cruise ship with thousands of people on board, crippleand adrift with a massive u.s. aircraft carrier steaming toward it to render assistance. we begin with those first two reports and first to the pentagon in this rumor of a missile. jim mclashevsky is on duty tonight. >> reporter: good evening. just who you believe is, indeed, the question. more than a day later u.s. military officials admit they don't know exactly what it was that lit up the skies near los
angeles last night but they say they're convinced it was not a missile. it's a shocking image. this video from a kcbs traffic copter shot at sunset shows what looks like a missile soaring into the sky dangerously close to the coastline just off los angeles. at one point the unidentified flying object streaks through the clouds. spewing black smoke and what appears to be flames shooting out the back. the video sent the u.s. military into a frenzy. for hours, frantic heated phone calls flew between the pentagon and norad trying to figure out just what was this mystery object. the pentagon officials say the video is the only indication of a possible missile shot. the navy and air force strongly deny they fired a missile and using satellite industry north com and norad had no launch. it looks like it's through a heavy traffic area around los angeles. faa ficials tell nbc news they
reviewed the air traffic control tapes and those radar replays did not reveal a fast-moving object in that area. and the same time, there were no reports of any unusual sightings from pilots. so then, what is it? military missile expert john pike believes it's aairplane, likely a jumbo jet and the appearance of it streaking upward is an optical illusion. >> it's coming out of the sunset and it looks like it's being launched out of the water but it's not. >> pike and military officials point out the object is moving too slowly and changes course like an airplane, not a missile. the pentagon tonight says that they insist or believe that it was an airplane and inst that whatever happened did not pose a threat to the u.s. a senior military official tells us if we're not exactly sure what it was,ow can we be so sure about no threat to the u.s.? this is the kind of ambiguity, brian, that feeds conspiracy theories forever.
that's right. it sure would be nice to know either way. jim, thanks. and now to the cruise sh with thousands of people on board dead in the water in the pacific. let's hope it's just an interrupted vacation for those on board but it's a logistical chlenge for those who have to go out and get this massive carnival cruise liner and bring it in. nbc's george lewis is long beach, california, tonight with the latest on these scue efforts. george, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. when the ship's splendor left here, the home port of long beacit had 4500 people on board including 3299 passengers. now the ship has to be towed to mexico. dead in the water. the splendor, huge, 950 feet long, weighing 113,000 tons. it sailed from long beach on sunday and then, 6:00 yesterday, fire broke out in an engine room as the splendor was about 200
miles south-southwest of san diego. the fire was put out with no injuries to the crew or passengers. but thship was left without power, running water or working ilets. phone communication was cut off. in san diego, u.s. navy crews loaded eight planes with food and other supplies for the stranded ship. they'll be flown to the aircraft carrier uss ronald reagan and then flown by helicopter to the spleor. >> the first plane that went out this morning had about 5500 pounds of bread, water, plates. >> reporter: incded in the food, lots of spam, the canned not the e-mail version. the coast guard cutterorgan that wilpulled behind eight intends to remain there as the ship is towed to port. >> the cruise ship is still disabled. dead in the water and passengers are being monitored closely. theye in good care. >> reporter: in the chicago suburb of blue island, illinois, tim fisher is rried about his parents who are among the
stranded passengers. >> my mom doesn't know how to swim so she waprobably freaking out a little bit. >> reporter: in a statement carnival cruise line says conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring. it will be a slow trip back to town and estimated time of arrival unknown. the ship has theoilets working, thank goodness. >> george lewis from long beach, california, reporting every last detail about the carnival cruise liner. there's more. the volcano that's forced president obama to change his schedule during his economic trip to asia. this was the day the president and first lady made their twice-postponed long-awaited visit to indonesia. the fourth-most populous nation in the world. today ey werin jakarta where a young barack obama spent four years before heading back to hawaii for high school. lecowan is traveling with the president anis with us fro
jakarta. hey, lee, good evening. >> reporter: brian, the third time is a charm, apparently. the president has tried twice before to return to his hometown of indonesia. both times, the trips were cancelled. this time he made it but alady, the trip's being cut short. the president arrived to a steady downpr in jakarta but it was the other grey in the sky that was a bigger coern, volcanic ash. some 300 miles east of jakarta has been spewing engine-clogging debris for days and conditions could worsen and the white house annound the air force one is getting out a few hours early. >> ware very invested in making this successful. >> reporter: although shorter, the substance of his visit remains the same. billed as a chance for the president to highlight the tolerance and diversity of indonesia, the world's largest majority muslicountry. >> we're trying to make sure that we are buding bridges and expanding our interactions with
muslim countries so that they're not solely focused on security issues. >> reporter: in just a few hours, mr. obama will visit south asia's largest mosque and then give a speech at the university of indonesia where he's expected in part to reflect on growing up here as a boy. >> it's wonderful to be here. although i have to tell you that you know, when you visit a place that you spent time in as a child, as president, it's a little disorienting. >> reporter: known as "berry" back then he left indonesia when he was 10 after living there with his mother. who tonight, received an award for her work promoting rural development in indonesia. >> i'm proud and humbled to accept this award on behalf of my mother. >> reporter: his school is still here as it is home, along with a few teachers and classmates we found flipping through old photos. >> you remember aching him? >> yes.
>> he was a chubbier barack obama back then. he was fond of sharing comic books. >> when i saw toda the air force one laing and he came out, i say, there he is! happy. >> reporter: for my here, a brief visit is better than non at all. >> brian, from here it's off to korea for the first of two economic summits where the president will argue investing in asia will translate to more u.s. jobs back home. >> lee cowan traveling with the president. if it's tuesday it must be jakarta. lee we'll see you tomorrow night. grim confirmation from haiti the cholera epidemic has reached the pital city of port-au-princeutting millions more people at risk now as was feared. the outbreak has already killed almost 600 people in haiti in the last three weeks, more than 9,000 have been hospitalized and health experts are warning it will spread even more qukly now. former president george w.
bush formally kicked off his book tour today at a border's bookstore in a shopping center not far from his new home in dallas. it's a long way, however, from the west wing. before the book, there was the revealing interview with matt lauer because the former president had decided now to talk about his eight years in office. tonight, our own andrea mitchell has more on what he's been saying. andrea, good evening. >> theresident has not spoken out until now but in this first interview with our own matt lauer he's personal, frank, but unpoll get jettic. >> in dallas george w. bush signed his memoirs, offering no apology for the iraq war and controversial interrogation techniques many call torture. that stirred criticism at home and abroad. >> george bush defends his most coroversial decision. >> when it came to sheikh mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind. >> they said he has information.
i said find out what he knows. i told our teams, are the techniques legal? the legal team says, yes, they are. i said, use them. >> why is waterboarding legal in your opinion? >> because the lawyer said it was legal. >> on katrina, he regretnot ordering troops in sooner. but is angered by kanye west's suggestion that he was race -- he was motated by race. >> he said george bush doesn't care about black people. >> he's a racist. i didn't appreciate it then and i don't appreciate it now. >> he reveals former president di cheney was angry he wouldn't pardon cheney aide, scooter libby and said before joining the ticket, he raised the issue of his daughter, mary, who was gay. >> what was your rction? >> twofold. one, he loves his daughter. secondly, he's testing whether or not i cared about it. >> reporter: in the book, bush gets personal about his decision to quit drinking when he turned 40. and reveals being alone with his mother when she suffered a miscarriage. >> she says to her teenage kid,
here's the fetus. >> but it's almost impossible not to draw parallels between the moment where you said th was a little brother or sister and your views on life. >> that's true. >> and when it begins. >> no question that affected me, my philosophy, that we should respect life. >> reporter: this book will not silence bush's critics but it does provide a fascinating glimpse into how the former president views some of the most controversial decisions of the last dade. brian? fascinating conversation as well. thanks, andrea. and the former president has more to say when he appears live on "today" tomorrow morning with matt lauer here on this nbc station. we have more tonight on an awful story we've been covering as it's been unfolding. we told you last night a jury in connecticut recommended the death penalty for steven hayes, the repeat criminal convicted of murdering a mother and her two daughters in the brutal home invasion back in '07. six of the jurors ined
meredith vieira on "today" this morning and one of them, herbert graham, described the deliberatis. >>ow 12 people just came together and worked out the problems of taking another person'sife and at the same time, realizing thatur founding fathers gave us this tool to be used with great care and we deliberated in great care. an yes, we did use this form of punishment. this man has nothing positive to contribute to the face of this earth. >> another juror talked about how difficult it was to keep her emotions in check in what was a heart-breaking and deeply distbing case. when our broadcast continues in a moment, ""education nation"." what we learned today about what's known as "the achievement gap" and what it's doing to our country. and later, our series here, "back to basics" how to slim down an entire area of your life from some women that have taken
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castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. back with a lot of news to report on "education nation". the high-profile and well-regarded chancellor of the new york city schools, joel kline, announced he's stepping down after eight years overseeing the largest public school system in this country. kline, a product of w york city schools and lawyer, is taking a job in the corporate world and from the corporate world comes his replacement, cathie black, publisher of hurst magazines one of the top female ceos in the u.s. the first-ever female hool chancellor in neyork's history. and news about a long-standing and stubborn achievement gap in america's public schools between black students and wte students. for some reason, black children
routinely fall behind their white counterparts and tonight, a new report is out th focuses on black males. it suggests that this gap is even bleaker and bigger than anyone first realized. our ""education nation"" report tonight from nbc's ron allen. >> the class of 2010. >> reporter: this year, the entire senior high class at chicago's urban prep graduated. 107 students, all african-american young men. while at the same time, according to a new report, most black male students performed worse than their peers balmost every measure. in fourth grade, only 12% do well in reading compared to 38% for white male students. by eighth grade, only 12% of black male studentare proficient in math. compared to 44% of their white peers. national, less than half of alblack male students graduate from high school. far below the 78% national rate for public schools. after that, among college students, only 5% are black men.
>> african-american males are simply not getting the instruction, the qualified teachers, the resources, the materials that they need to succeed. >> reporter: the study says the obstacles begin before the school bell rings. black families have higher unemployment. only one-third of parents have high school diplomas, factors that often make african-american students fall behind ely. urban prep, a public charter school, achieved success with drastic changes. >> we have an extended school day d have an extended school year and set high expectations. >> who do you think is worthy of respect? >> reporter: new york's eagle academy had 80% graduation rate. one ke as many black male teachers and mentors as possible. >> you come prepared every day. >> we know that great schools can, in fact, fix the problems that these children come to school with. but the problem is, we're sending them to schools that are failing to meet their most basic educational needs. >> reporter: and failing more
profoundly based on today's study, than yone would have believed. ron allen, nbc news, nework. >> and when we come back here tonight, some big changes announced today for two american icons. [ woman ] alright, so this tylenol 8 hour lasts 8 hours. but aleve can last 12 hours. and aleve was proven to work better on pain than tylenol 8 hour. so why am i still thinking about this?
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late word from laredo, texas, a model of the boeing 787 dreamliner made anmergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit. 30 test crewembers were on board and the dreamliner has often been delayed in shipment, spite of several major carrier orders. it's been a troubled program so fa two american icons in the news tonight. one of them is going away and another is just now finding his voice. first, mr. goodwrench. general motors announced today he, it, is going away. it became the identity of gms customer service for 37 years and for those of us who are die-hard nascar fans it became synonymous with the man in black, who drove the number 3 goodwrench car, the late great dale earnhardt. in place of mr. goodwrench gm will offer certified service for
its four remaining brands, chevy, buick, gmc and cadillac. the other icon in the news tonight? mr. peanut. he became the planter's logo during the presidency of woodrow wilson. there's some resemblance. the problem is he hadn't uttered a word since. but on a commercial first released today on the internet, he is tting his voice. >> at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. >> you'll notice he sounds suspiciously like robert downey jr. note you never see them together in the same place. when we come back, the women that gathered the courage to make the very big decision to downsize something big in their lives. and the life you want to live. fortunately there's enbrel, the #1 most doctor-prescribed biologic medicine for ra. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, fatigue, and st joint damage. because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections.
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t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, eenses, and other information to read and consider carefully bere investing. this week we're airg this week we're airing a series of reports about getting "back to basics" looking at some ways americans are cutting back and making life simpler wi the added advantage of downsizing and saving money. in this lousy and tight economy. tonight, the women who have takethe big step. kristen welker has our report. ♪ >> reporter: from the runway, to the red carpet, and even on the
big screen, fashion has the power to traform and inspire. >> 11, 12, 13. >> i have too many coats. >> reporter: but it's the clirt and cost of what's in their closets that has some women cutting back. that's why this busy seattle mom started the "great american apparel diet." the premise, no clothes shopping for one year. >> the one thing i've overspent on was clothing and i knew if i wanted to make a difference r myself that waprobably an area i needed to examine. >> reporter: the idea caught on with women in her own community who not only stopped buying t who started donating their unused clothing. >> we live in afri and it's very different. >> reporter: women from all over the world signed up. >> it's great, it's fantastic. >> reporter: apparel dieter says the experience has been enlightening. >> when i wasn't shoppg all the time i found more time to meditate and go on walks with
friends. >> reporter: fancial experts say in order to keep your shopping in check, bring three things. a budget, a buddy and a stop watch. money coach explains. >> budget, of course, is your preset limit. buddy is the person who will keep you accountable. and then, oncehat stop watch starts ticking or ringing you know it's time to end the day's shopping. >> reporter: often easier said than done. last year alone, women in america spent more than $104 billion clothing. for heidi, the magic number is six. her campaign called "six items or less" is a global effort to signify to wear half a dozen items of clothing for a month. >> it forced us to find the pretty somewhere else. i'll take care of my physical being and smile a little bit more. >> reporter: a community of men keeping cash in their wallets and finding less is more when it comes to clothes. kristen welker, nbc news,